Teaming with Sports Trainers and Researchers to Design the Sports Facility of the Future
Sport Techie talked to Nate Appleman, an HOK director of Sports + Recreation + Entertainment, and Randy Kray, a director of Science + Technology, to discuss their vision for integrating a student-athlete training facility with dedicated doctors, researchers and trainers.
“HOK has a unique and focused vision for constructing the sports training facility of the future. The desire to take the next step in the realm of athletic training is an increased focus, present now more than ever, on the overall health of the athlete. Heightened concern over injury prevention, nutrition, rest and physical and mental wellness of the athlete act as a catalyst in driving this trend. Advances in medical research and technology are at the forefront of this futuristic vision, offering exciting prospects that will enable athletes to stay on the field and out of the doctor’s offices.”
At Auburn University’s Shelby Center for Engineering Technology, a biomechanics lab is used to study human movement through methods such as motion capture, wireless electromyography (EMG) and force measurement.
“The first step in enabling this vision occurred a little over a year ago, when HOK acquired 360 Architecture, a firm that is recognized as a leader in designing sports and recreation facilities. As Appleman noted, ‘…when we became HOK, our internal expertise was expanded to include sports facility construction in addition to science and technology. We now have robust healthcare expertise. Combining them provides us the thought leadership required to push the model and be proactive.’”
“HOK’s model would create an environment where researchers, trainers, coaches and student-athletes work together to target the aim of the research. Specific problems and injuries could be studied and subsequently addressed.”
“As for what the building will look like and include, it would be a structure more horizontal than vertical. An expansive collaboration space for scientists, trainers and physicians will be present, allowing for and encouraging cooperation. It would also be comprised of offices for both the university’s athletic staff and research staff, within the same corridor, in addition to an adaptable lab area that is flexible enough to transform based on the requirements of any given study.